With Littlejohn Coliseum undergoing major renovations this academic year, Brad Brownell’s Clemson Tigers will play their entire 2015-16 home schedule off campus. The Tigers will play their games in Greenville at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, and with this being the case the program is doing what it can to spark interest in its temporary home.
Last Saturday four Tigers, Jordan Roper, Jaron Blossomgame, Donte Grantham and Josh Smith, hopped in a bus and descended upon Main Street in Greenville with plans of “crashing” the town’s Saturday Market. There were games for those in attendance, and the cheerleaders and mascot were there as well.
Above is video of the day in Greenville courtesy of Clemson Athletics, and pictures from the event can be seen here.
This is a good move by Clemson, because given the difficulty of the ACC they’ll need to establish some semblance of a home-court advantage while playing in Greenville. And even if their preseason trip to Greenville doesn’t lead to skyrocketing season ticket sales, engaging the community is an important first step in making sure that Bon Secours Wellness Arena actually feels a little like “home.”
Another in-season tournament schedule has been officially completed, as the slate for the MGM Grand Main Event (to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas) was announced Wednesday by BD Global Sports. The tournament consists of two four-team brackets, with the teams in the Heavyweight Bracket (Clemson, Creighton, Massachusetts and Rutgers) getting to host at least two home games before heading to Las Vegas for games November 23 (Monday) and 25 (Wednesday).
In the Heavyweight Bracket semifinals November 23, Clemson will take on UMass with Creighton/Rutgers being the other matchup. The consolation and championship games will be held two days later.
There’s also a Middleweight Bracket, with UTSA and Central Arkansas meeting in one semifinal and Texas Southern and Howard in the other. Those four teams will play two road games apiece against the teams in the Heavyweight Bracket before they play in the afternoon sessions in Las Vegas November 23 and 25.
Of the eight teams in the event just one, Texas Southern, played in the NCAA tournament last season. Mike Davis’ Tigers, who won games at Kansas State and Michigan State last season, was the SWAC’s automatic entrant and lost to Arizona in the round of 64.
Monday, Nov. 23 – Session 2 (Evening Session – Game Times TBD)
Clemson vs. UMass
Creighton vs. Rutgers
Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Session 4 (Evening Session – Game Times TBD)
Heavyweight Championship Game
Monday, Nov. 23 – Session 1(Afternoon Session – Game Times TBD)
UTSA vs Central Arkansas
Texas Southern vs. Howard
Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Session 3 (Afternoon Session – Game Times TBD)
Middleweight Championship Game
Nov. 13 – Howard at UMass
Nov. 14 – Texas Southern at Creighton
Nov. 15 – UTSA at Clemson
Nov. 15 – Howard at Rutgers
Nov. 17 – UTSA at Creighton
Nov. 19 – Texas Southern at Clemson
Nov. 19 – Central Arkansas at UMass
Nov. 21 – Central Arkansas at Rutgers
With perimeter shooting being an issue for Clemson in recent years, the hope is that their latest recruit can help the Tigers turn things around in that area.
6-foot-6 shooting guard Scott Spencer verbally committed to Brad Brownell’s program Wednesday afternoon per multiple reports, becoming the Tigers’ first pledge in the Class of 2016. The three-star wing attends Blue Ridge School and became the high school’s second commitment in as many days, with forward Mamadi Diakite making his pledge to Virginia on Tuesday.
Clemson has just one scholarship senior in its current backcourt (Jordan Roper), meaning that many of the players will be back when Spencer sets foot on campus in 2016. Among those are point guard Avry Holmes, who will play his first season at Clemson after sitting out the 2014-15 campaign following his transfer in from San Francisco.
Clemson has two other transfer guards who will sit out the 2015-16 season in Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed, and they add freshman Ty Hudson to the mix. Clemson ranked dead last in the ACC in scoring offense last season (62.7 ppg), and they were 14th in both field goal (40.9 percent) and three-point (29.9 percent) percentage.
Spencer shot nearly 41 percent from three for the Team Wall grassroots program at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, scoring a total of 50 points in the team’s final two games.